DISTRIBUTORS/CO-OPS

Ace hires Frank Carroll as GMM

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Oak Brook, Ill.-based Ace Hardware Corp. hired Frank Carroll as general merchandise manager.

Reporting to senior VP merchandising, marketing and sales John Surane, Carroll will focus on merchandising strategy both domestically and internationally. 

“Frank brings with him a wealth of experience including more than 20 years working for respected brands within the industry,” said Surane. “He has extensive experience in strategic planning, sales management, marketing operations, supply chain management and product development — plus he’s a proven team builder.”

Prior to joining Ace, Carroll served as president of Knaack, responsible for leading two respected brands: Knaack secure storage and WeatherGuard mobile storage equipment.

Additionally, he brings a myriad of experience from Robert Bosch Tool as president of various business units, where he led all aspects of strategic planning including marketing, product development, engineering, manufacturing, supply chain and sales. 

Carroll holds a bachelor of science degree in marketing from Northern Illinois University, as well as a masters of business administration in business from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management. Carroll also serves on the board of directors of the United Way of McHenry County, as well as Big Brothers Big Sisters of McHenry, Ill. Carroll resides in Chicago with his family.

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Littmann appointed to True Value board

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Jared S. Littmann, a co-owner of K&B True Value in Annapolis, Md., was recently appointed to the board of directors for True Value Co. 

Formerly an associate county attorney, Littmann brings a wealth of experience to the board of directors, including his service on the Annapolis City Council as an alderman, chair of the Environmental Matters Committee, and member of the Housing and Human Welfare Committee.

“I am humbled and proud to serve on the True Value Co. board of directors,” said Littmann. “As a local independent entrepreneur, I’ve developed a strong appreciation for the challenges we all face in retail. By serving on the board, I most look forward to offering support to True Value retailers and helping drive their success by helping them to be relevant to the needs of their communities, profitable and thriving for years to come.”

Littman is also a founding member of the South Forest Drive Business Association. He has given his time and civic involvement to Main Streets Annapolis, a public-private partnership to support local businesses; Annapolis Green, a non-profit partnership focused on promoting sustainable living; and the Annapolis Executive forum, a networking group for local business owners.

“We are very pleased to have Jared join the True Value Co. board of directors,” said Brent Burger, chairman of the board. “His broad perspective and varied experiences — both inside and outside of True Value — make him an outstanding addition to our board.”

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Hardware Store All-Stars: Wisconsin and Michigan

BY HBSDEALER Staff

HCN congratulates the 50 hardware store, home center and farm-and-ranch retailers who made the annual HCN Hardware Store All-Star list.

Now in its third year, HCN’s annual list of high performers recognizes hardware stores — one from each state — that are outstanding in their field. The complete list and analysis can be found in the September issue of HCN.For the full state-by-state list of HCN Hardware Store All-Stars, click here.

Meanwhile, HCN Daily has been working its way across the country with mini profiles, continuing (and concluding) this week with Wisconsin and Michigan.

Wisconsin: Watson Ace Hardware is a Lake Mills mainstay and a dream come true, quite literally, for owner Brian Watson. A few years ago, Watson entered the Dream Ace competition; to his great disappointment, he lost, but decided to open a store anyway after 30+ years as a CPA. Watson’s outstanding leadership qualities have seen to it that every employee hired before his business opened in 2009 is still working at the store. A habit of sharing performance metrics with the team, mentoring new retailers, donating to community causes and going to all ends for his customers has earned him the title of Retail Group Leader for the Madison Ace Dealer, as well as consistent growth year-over-year.

Michigan: Though ACO Hardware made the decision to close 14 under-performing stores in May, the Michigan home improvement chain store has displayed an ability to adapt and survive in a challenging Detroit market. To say the least, it has enough clout to raise $308,000 over the past two years for various statewide charities. With all said and done, it’s still, at 52 locations strong, the state’s largest independent hardware retailer. 

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